I’ve Been Safely Trained

As of today I now hold a First Aid level 1 certificate – woo hoo – I know how to do CPR and such. Go me :)

Training was held for Balloon Sunrise pilots & crew out at the Balgownie Estate winery in Yarra Valley. Karen & Robyn were our trainers and it was a lot of fun. Things are certainly easier than when I first got basic training back at school. Apparently they found people were taking too long to sort things out and not getting into the important bit (CPR) soon enough. Then there were also the legal aspects where people were paranoid about getting their asses sued if they tried to help, etc.

So, now it’s easier – yay :)

It all comes down to a handy mnemonic:


Some things haven’t changed, including the recovery position and using the Little Annie practice doll thingos – although now you get to use a funky face thingo that fits on and there’s one per person – gotta watch out for those body fluids, ya know :)

All up, a lot of fun and educational – ya can’t beat that!

CPR training

Old Times on TV

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it but, in addition to The Goodies, we’ve been going back in time on TV with The Young Ones. The joys of DVDs and series owners realising that they can wring a few more bucks from the ol’ shows by releasing them to those of us who want to relieve our youth, misspent or not :)

In keeping with this, I’ve pounced on the chance to get my hands on episodes of Blakes 7 – classic British Sci-Fi that I loved as a kid. Now I get to introduce Nykolai to it plus Kitt’s only ever seen a few episodes so it’s pretty new for her too.

Going back in time and seeing what they did on such a small budget has been great fun. Like watching old Dr Who episodes that, despite obviously crappy effects and props, still hold a magic in their story and character development.

Not sure what’s going to be next – it would be GREAT to find all the episodes of Quark on DVD. That would be so awesome :)

My new project

Late last week I mentioned that I was starting a new project and that it promised to be “interesting” – oh yes, indeed it is. Not sure if you’ve ever seen the EDS commercial about building an aircraft while it’s in flight? Well, it’s pretty much spot on for what I’m trying to make happen with the new project.

You can go to YouTube to see the EDS advert about building an aircraft while it’s in flight. They also have an earlier advert that is about Herding Cats – haven’t hit this bit yet, but no doubt it’ll come soon enough.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I work for EDS??? :)

Aviation Weekend

This weekend has been a busy aviation weekend, that’s for sure. On Saturday, I spent the afternoon and evening attending the VATSIM Oceania 2007 Convention out at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne airport. The conference is all about operating flight simulators, ATC simulators and the whole “online experience” that people get these days. Amazing stuff.

I went out there with Carlo as a representative of his Flight Experience operation here in Melbourne. He was presenting there so we caught a few others in the agenda and then stayed for the dinner. Between the end of the conference and the dinner, we shot over to the airport for a couple of drinks while watching the aircraft come & go. While there we caught Virgin’s new Embraer E-170 jet come in and park – it’s doing flights around the country to train pilots, cabin crew and ground staff on the specifics of its operation.

On the Sunday I went out the Yarra Valley for a day’s crew training with Balloon Sunrise. We spent some time reviewing the crew procedures manual, then had some pizza for lunch and ended up taking a balloon out to a field so we could rig it, inflate it and deflate it, all without the pressure of commercial operations. The idea was that we could take the time to discuss what was being done at each step and review important issues, etc. Much easier to do in the daylight without passengers and with heaps of time to review, etc. It’s an idea that Rob’s been trying to get happening for a while now and it really did work well.

Of course, we wound up attracting a few people who thought we were going to launch. Not likely – it was getting rather unpredictable with winds puffing all around the place. The joys of a mid-afternoon inflate :)

Training inside the balloon
In the R44 After lunch and while the others were taking the balloon out to set it up, Peter took Marlon & I out for a flight in the company’s new helicopter. We’ve set up Sunrise Helicopters and are running a Robinson R44 (Clipper II) model based off the lawn in front of Balgownie Estate. NEAT!!! A quick 10 minute ride (sadly with me in the back – DOH! :) was a lot of fun then it was back to the training session.

So, quite the aviation weekend. Now, if only I could have added in some flying time where I was at the controls, well, then it would have been almost a perfect weekend :)

Sporty Weekend

Here in Melbourne we’ve just made it through a major sporting weekend. On Saturday was the AFL grand final and on Sunday was the NRL grand final (admittedly held in Sydney, but televised down here). For the sports mad people here in Melbourne, it was one hell of a weekend.

For the rest of us, we mostly managed to avoid it :)

We went shopping on Saturday out at Chadstone which is usually packed and very difficult to park or move around in. This time it was almost pleasant to be out there (almost!). We were coming home and it was close to “kick off” for the AFL final so we dropped Nykolai off at a friend’s place for the afternoon (family was watching but the kids just wanted to play) and then went home to relax. Very peaceful :)

On Sunday Nykolai wound up spending a few hours with another friend and then I picked him up and took him out to his horse riding camp at Underbank Stud. Due to the Horse Flu problem there were signs warning that horses were not to be removed from the property and non-resident horses were not allowed on. At least the camp was still going ahead.

The camp is happening out at Bacchus Marsh which is where my flying school, TVSA, has their HQ. We dropped in briefly for a quick chat and to check out the place – very nice.

Sadly, I didn’t manage to avoid the sports for the whole weekend – I wound up watching the NRL final on TV at a friend’s place when we went over for a BBQ dinner. One of the guys had put it on so we wound up watching it. While I much prefer Rugby Union over Rugby League, it was fun to watch.

Not something I’ll do often, but occasionally watching football can be fun. Given my last blog entry was about soccer, it does seem as if September has been my “football month” for the year :)

Australia vs Argentina @ MCG

Nykolai and I went to see the Australia vs Argentina soccer game at the MCG tonight. We went with our friend Nick and two of his kids, Darte and Violetta. Given they’re from Argentina and we’ve got strong Argentine connections, it was a given that we’d be in the middle of the Argentine contingent.

Much fun was had, the game was pretty good (Argentina won, 1 goal to nil – woo hoo :) ) and the crowd was pretty well behaved all round. An Argentine supporter was removed near us (no idea why) and some dickhead set a flare off over in the Australian supporters area. Otherwise, all good and friendly.

The game did get a tad slow towards the last 10 minutes or so when Argentina had their goal and were delaying to keep possession and prevent Australia from having a go. After a few substitutions on both sides, things got exiting again as both sides had a few attacks.

Weather stayed good, if cold, and there was only a very small shower just before kick off, otherwise dry. We were just under the edge of the layer above so we had cover.

The official attendance was 70,171 – not bad given max capacity of the MCG is about 98,000 (including about 3,000 standing area tickets).

The only complaint for the night was the big screen – you’d be getting ready to see a replay and they’d pop up a page which said “Australia” on it and that was it. This didn’t always happen – some times you’d see it, some times you wouldn’t – very annoying and definitely the worst part of the whole show (especially when we were trying to see what went on there).

Oh well, all up a lot of fun, Nykolai had a great time and Argentina won. Got to be good :)

That which gets tracked gets done

I’m tracking a few things towards some personal goals, some of which might even be attainable. I’m running on the concept here that if you track something and focus on it, it’ll get done. So long as what you’re tracking doesn’t miss the real point of what you’re doing and the goals are not contradictory, things can only get better, non? We’ll see – I’ve got financial, flying and personal goals set, so now it’s time to track ’em and make ’em happen. The fun bit is going to be trying to let you lot know how I’m going without giving away some of the juicier information :)

Can’t believe I’d missed an episode

Oh wow, there’s an episode of The Goodies that I’ve never seen before. I finally got around to watching “Come Dancing” on the Tasty Box Set DVDs and discovered that it’s one I must have missed in all those years of watching reruns in New Zealand and here in Australia. Amazing.

Now I find that there were about 70 episodes all up – when do we get more on DVD? We’re hanging out here for them!